back to article Google will swap you a box of crisps for your web privacy

Google has revealed exactly how little cash it thinks a user who is willing to "sell" their data to the search giant is actually worth. The answer? $25 for one year of letting the Chocolate Factory happily slurp your data. And that figure isn't even in the form of cold, hard cash. Nope. Amazon gift vouchers are on offer to …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. DJV Silver badge


    Is that all? Hmm, my response is rearrange the words "Off" and "Fuck" into a well known phrase!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was tempted....

    until I found out I would have to pay an extra 92p for the box of crisps. Totally not worth it now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thing is...

    They monitor your web usage through a chrome plugin. As I don't usually use Chrome, I've signed up for this - I get $5 for installing the plugin and an extra $5 every three months if I can be bothered to fire up Chrome every couple of days and do some random web browsing. I'll probably just use it for anything non-sensitive that I do. I'd be using the web anyway, and getting paid to surf (albeit peanuts) is better than not.

    1. Darryl

      Peanuts? I thought it was Crisps?

  4. Ryan 7

    I have to use Chrome?

    Not worth it.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray

      I find Chrome pretty good - what am I missing?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What's bad about Chrome?

        It's from Google.

      2. Eugene Goodrich
        Paris Hilton

        Chrome is an absolutely great web browser, when it works. In that regard, it's rather like all the other web browsers.

  5. 404 Silver badge

    $25 for your soul is better than free to Zuck and FB, right?



    Disclaimer: No FB account here- soul still mostly mine lol

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      industry best practice for security/privacy

      is to actually create your own FB page - to avoid namejacking and bad stuff poisoning your online persona - then not use it, ( the data inside can just be averagely boring and non controversial). In recruitment - most interviewees will have their FB profile analysed deeply before being interviewed, not having an FB page might lead to no invite!

      I speak as an owner of many FB pages!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Here - put on this slave collar and I'll give you a buck

    This seems to be the pattern - people willing to sell themselves for trinkets:

    Here's a loyalty card - we won't overcharge you 10% when you shop in return for being able to track every purchase you make, the better to market at you.

    Here's a GPS tracker for your car - we might give you a break on your insurance in exchange for knowing every place you go and every move you make behind the wheel.

    Here's a box to monitor your TV viewing - we will give you a few bucks in exchange for having detailed knowledge of what you watch, when you watch, and how you watch.

    Here's "free" Internet, so long as we can ram ads down your throat and watch where you surf.

    1. ArmanX

      Sign me up!

      All I have to do is tell you my grocery list every month, and I get 10% off (and customized coupons to boot)? Sounds like a good deal to me!

      All I have to do is let you handle the ads, and my Internet is free (plus I stop getting ads about weight loss and basic education)? Awesome, where do I sign?

      All I have to do is fire up Chrome a few times a month, and Google will pay me $25? Awesome!

      My bank already knows where I shop, because they know every purchase I make with my debit card - but that costs me money to use. Many businesses (Radio Shack, I'm looking at you) require phone numbers or credit cards, and track you without giving you a dime. Assuming everyone is going to use your information anyway... wouldn't you rather get paid for it?

    2. CD001


      Here's a box to monitor your TV viewing - we will give you a few bucks in exchange for having detailed knowledge of what you watch, when you watch, and how you watch.


      My nan used to have one of them - despite being blind.

      Garbage in, garbage out.

  7. Cynical Observer
    Thumb Down

    Split Personality

    So with two Gmail Accounts; two Amazon accounts and three browsers - why do I think it would be possible to game the system?

    If I could be bothered that is!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skewed statistics

    I'd happily volunteer just to screw up googles data. put this on a spare laptop and run some program to automatically search for websites on how to hack google servers. also for porn involving members of google staff.

  9. Jediben

    Tempting... for my army of one-time use googlemail accounts.

    1. Sign up for them

    2. Retrieve certificate code

    3. Apply to Amazon account

    4. Repeat ad infinitum

    5. Never use accounts again

    6. ?????

    7. Profit

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course they pay next to nothing

    Google already collects most of this data for free between tracking search results, web ads (Google/Doubleclick/"Adchoices") cookies and +1 buttons.

    They're just figuring out if there's still some corner of the web left where they don't track you.

    1. Dr Paul Taylor

      and via other sites

      Also, it seems to be nigh impossible to visit any other website without (disabling NoScript and) telling Google about it via GooglAPIs or similar.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    1. Set up virtual machine

    2. Install chrome and sign up for this crap

    3. Script chrome to automatically browse fetishist porn all day

    4. Repeat 1-3 many times

    5. Eat unlimited crisps while watching google include more fetishist porn to their search results!

    1. jai

      +1 for the win

      this - we're all tech savvy types, we should all be able to set up something similar and seriously skew their results

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        >we're all tech savvy types


        Have you actually read more than five comments on these forums?

    2. C-N

      The reckoning

      They will pay, one way or another.

    3. Eugene Goodrich

      So basically you're saying get paid for what you were going to do anyway? Sounds like a plan!

  12. Oor Nonny-Muss

    7c per day?

    7c per 10 seconds and I might think about it...

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    "....that $25 (£15) gift voucher....."

    Hang on, a tech company not just changing the currency symbol when converting prices from dollars to pounds? What is the world coming to?

    Oh...........just a sec..........they really do screw you both coming and going, don't they?

  14. JDX Gold badge

    $25 isn't tiny

    Google earns about $30bn/year and probably has 1bn users if not more.

  15. Silverburn
    Thumb Down


    $25 to sell out any vestige of self-respect and privacy you might have had.

    And its before tax too...remember to declare that. Actually you won't need to remember - google will probably remind when your taxes are due, and what you bill is. Oh and btw, heres a list of accountants we can recommend based on your location, tax status and recent returns...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to see so many willing to be analised by Google for £15, around here prostitutes charge a bit more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 17:37

      But the prostitutes are cleaner.

      1. Graham Marsden


        ... at least the Ladies of Negotiable Affection are honest about how they'll screw you!

  17. JDX Gold badge

    Aww it's cute

    seeing the privacy zealots get all frothy at the mouth. "But... they're... stealing... your.... thoughts"

    1. Silverburn


      Its all relative. Which I why I'll have a clear conscience telling your wife about the hand shandy you shook out at lunch, since I was tracking your activities, and because your office has cameras in the loo..

      People froth at the mouth about privacy, because it f*ing *does* matter.

    2. Steven Roper

      @ JDX

      Please post here your:

      Full and real name

      Address of residence

      Home telephone number

      Email address

      Date of birth

      Company name and address of your primary employer

      Your credit card numbers, CVCs, expiry dates and cardholder names

      Thank you.

      Oh, I'm sorry, what? That information's private? But you gave the impression that privacy doesn't matter, when you call us privacy zealots frothing at the mouth. Looks like you might be doing a little frothing yourself once somebody gets hold of the above information and ruins your life with it...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome plugin?

    So Chrome doesn't already tell Google everything you do?

  19. Richard 12 Silver badge

    So what's the problem?

    It's opt-in and you're being paid for it.

    That's a much better deal than even the on-street surveys - those are normally a £5 gift voucher for half an hour of your time. This is a £15 gift voucher and none of your time.

    Those of you who are frothing about it - would you let them do it for £1,000,000?

    How about £500,000?

    Now we're just haggling on the price!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not like street surveys, unless your surveys happen to involve the agent following you around everywhere you go.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...would you let them do it for £1,000,000?"

      Good question. Answer : No.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tell me this is a joke ?

    People are queuing up to give away their privacy for 25 dollars ? In the love of god, why ?!?! Multiply it by 1,000 and I might consider it, but 25 dollars ? That's it, all hope in humanity has finally washed down the drain.

  21. DrXym Silver badge

    Another way to look at it

    Google probably have their hooks into 70% of mainstream sites anyway - +1 links, advertising etc. and people use their site by default for search, email etc. So if you use their service almost exclusively, perhaps it's no bother to get paid for it since they're mining the info anyway.

  22. ph0b0s

    Some users

    "Google has revealed exactly how little cash it thinks a user who is willing to "sell" their data to the search giant is actually worth."

    No, that is what the think a few users are worth. They only need a few users to get this going and of course there are always some who are happy to oblige. Even if it was 1 cent, some would still sign up.

    It like saying this is how much companies think it will take to get people to take their clothes off. Some are happy to take their clothes of for free....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      $ Some are happy to take their clothes of for free...

      The ugly and the freaks. Think Google prefers the more mainstream...

  23. geekclick
    Paris Hilton

    People overestimate

    Just how much their data is worth. If google want to learn that I write for a Motorsport publication, work as a sys admin and generally only browse tech blogs, Motorsport stuff and other really unintersting stuff then fine!

    All of this stuff could be worked out really quickly just by googling my name.....

    One wonders if people really do live in faraday cages and where tin foil hats when going outside!

    Paris because google already know all about her...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1. CD001

      Except, unlike Websense, you have to opt in and use Chrome as it's run by a locally installed browser plug-in ... and you get paid (granted a paltry amount) for participating.

      This is more Evil-lite than full blown Phorm evil.

  25. Alexander Hanff 1

    My blog piece on this last night

    If anyone is interested I wrote about this last night:

    Alexander Hanff

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Sorry Mr Hanff, but you didn't do your research this time.

      Google are offering to pay $5 for joining and $5 per three months of snooping, up to a maximum total of $25.

      So that's $25 for a one-year snoopathon.

      Just one year, not forever.

      It's also a browser plugin, thus trivial to disable or uninstall - and you could decide to do most of your browsing on a different browser without the plugin. If Chrome isn't your normal browser you'll probably do that anyway out of habit.

      This is a step in the right direction - it's saying "We value your personal info enough to pay you to collect it".

      I agree with you that the price they are offering is too small, but at least they're now making an offer.

  26. JDX Gold badge

    "People froth at the mouth about privacy, because it f*ing *does* matter."

    Thinking the web owes, or provides, you privacy in the first place is incorrect IMHO.

    Also, what business is it of pro-privacy advocates what <other people</i> do with their private? Seems rather hypocritical that they have an interest in it.

  27. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    100% of my world likes crispy fried food

    There has to be something more to this. Everybody knows that giving people stupid gifts in exchange for survey data causes your data to represent exactly the portion of the population who like stupid gifts. Google must know it so you have to wonder what they're up to. It sounds like they've found a way to sell services to low-income people at large enough scales to make Googly-sized profits.

  28. Winkypop Silver badge

    $25 a year?

    Now $25 an hour and we might be getting somewhere.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think I'll be firing up a few low spec virtual machines with chrome and a surfing bot to browse some boring random sites. Roll in the crisps.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019